Lithomobilus Startup Launches New Ebook Platform
Lithomobilus, the latest e-reading platform hitting the ether this spring, has flipped the script on reading. Rather than authors having the final say, readers will influence how they experience stories on the Lithomobilus platform. They will be able to control a text's narrative flow, choose from multiple viewpoints, or delve deeper into a story by pursuing related content.
Founder Lise Quintana was inspired to create this innovative experience after attending an interactive museum exhibit on Genghis Khan. The exhibit, with the help of tablet displays, provided a multi-threaded narrative of history, following different members of society to show how Khan's reforms affected them. The narrative was almost limitless, says Quintana. Visitors could select any individual—politician, soldier, farmer, etc.—at any stage in the exhibit, and that individual's story would appear on screen. This freedom allowed museum-goers to create millions of story combinations based on their choices.
After attending the exhibit, Quintana wondered what would happen if this type of experience was applied to a book. "What happens if you transform the way that a reader follows a story such that they can skip around? What happens when they can jump from one character to another, or jump from one time to another?"
The idea came together in 2011 when Quintana began writing her own multi-threaded story. She quickly discovered that no platform existed that could intuitively display multiple viewpoints and allow the reader control over the story's path.
In hopes of developing this platform herself, Quintana attended a Santa Cruz TechRaising event in April of 2012. The event connected individuals with fresh ideas to the developers, designers, and entrepreneurs who could help execute those ideas. By the end of the collaborative weekend, Quintana had a workable demo platform and knew that her idea was scalable. A few months later, she reached out to productOps, a third party software developer, to build out Lithomobilus.
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Ellen Harvey is a freelance writer and editor who covers the latest technologies and strategies reshaping the publishing landscape. She previously served as the Senior Editor at Publishing Executive and Book Business.